For a spectacular trekking experience of trans-Himalayas of Nepal, Upper Mustang is the mysterious kingdom of Nepal and also a forbidden, isolated and remote areas of Nepal.The 15-day trekking around Mustang Trek begins and ends in Kathmandu. Mustang Overland Tour by Jeep to Lomanthang-the wall city of Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang an interesting places of Nepal where you will see old caves, monasteries, walled city and Tiji festival.The unique rock formation of yellow, red, grey, blue and also picturesque landscapes of many painted villages, caves and monasteries bring you a great photograph opportunities. Likewise, Mustang is a unique and fascinating trekking due to its hospitable and friendly people. You will get a beautiful Nepalese and Tibetan cultures, religions and civilizations. Upper Mustang is a mini Tibet in the Himalayas. For booking inquiry regarding Nepal Upper Mustang Trek 15 days cost and dates for 2023.2024, please email us at [email protected] and call or leave message on WhatsApp at +977 9851023742.
Trek Name: Nepal Upper Mustang Trek
Trek Duration: 15 Days
Trek Difficulty: Medium /Hard
Trek Season: Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec/Mar/April/May
Trek Altitude: 850m- 3950m
Trek Cost: USD 1790-USD 2490
Group Size: 1 - 12 people
Trek Package: Budget
Mode of Transfer: Bus/Car/Flight
Start/End of Trek: Kathmandu / Pokhara
Nepal Upper Mustang Trek 18 days is an adventure journey to a hidden and restricted land in the Himalayas of Nepal.
Nepal Upper Mustang Trek takes to an old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang called Lo. Mustang is once a forbidden and isolated area of Nepal.The region has its own distinctive culture and traditions closely tied up with Tibet. You will get a spectacular trekking experience of remote trans-Himalayan mountain region of Nepal. You will need to walk for 6 to 8 hours, cross steep hilly terrain and occasional high passes with daily ascends and descends of around 500 m-1000 m. You will trek on a remote environment of extreme weather in some days where you may face high altitude air with low level of oxygen. Previous trekking experience, physical fitness and positive attitude is helpful for 15-day trekking around Upper Mustang Nepal.
Upper Mustang Trek Nepal is suitable for passionate trekkers ready to walk for 5 to 7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitudes is physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes. However if we are in an excellent health with average physical fitness with positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, then you can enjoy Upper Mustang Trek Nepal. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to Mustang trek is a good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience is an asset and no technical skill is required.
Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty
Upper Mustang Trek is moderately difficult.There are no technical sections, and you remain below 4000 m for the most part. One of the most challenging aspects is the dust and wind which is tough if you are walking straight into it. The trekking days is longer with some steep ascents/descents and limited facilities, making it more challenging. In general, trekking trails in Upper Mustang are not well marked and can be a little confusing to navigate at times. A guide with experience trekking in the region is a must. You need to trek for an average of 6-7 hours a day, but depending on your route you may have some 10 hour days.A moderate to good level of fitness is helpful trekking to Upper Mustang.
Prepare for Upper Mustang Trek
It is good idea to involve yourself in doing physical exercises before trekking. An average level of physical fitness will make the journey less stressful.Ending up with sore muscles, blisters, joint pain, and back pain can be very discomforting while trekking. This is unlikely to happen if you exercise beforehand.Start exercising at least a month before the trek like running, jogging, long walks, cycling and swimming. Carry a light backpack along with you to get used to it. Gym work out can be a good option too.
Mustang Trek Permit
In order to trek in Upper Mustang you need three different permits-Restricted Area Permit (RAP), Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit(ACAP) and TIMS-Trekkers Information Management Systems which costs around $ USD 550.The permits are valid only for one entry.Please note that you must trek with a guide, and there must be a minimum of two trekkers to obtain the Restricted Area Permit (RAP).We, the Mission Eco Trek will take care/organize your Mustang Trek Permit. You will need to provide your passport with a valid Nepal visa, and a passport photo.The combined cost of the Upper Mustang RAP, ACAP and TIMS permits are approx 550 USD + $50 for each additional day in Upper Mustang.
Mustang Trek Accommodation
Accommodation is pretty basic and standard across the Upper Mustang Trek.It is much more like family guesthouses or home stays, feel far more personable and homely.
Bedrooms usually have two single beds and a small table. Pillows and blankets are provided, but a sleeping bag is recommended. Think of the blanket as supplementary to your sleeping bag when it gets cold.
In the evening, meals are usually served in the atmospheric dining room. This is often home to the family altar, complete with butter lamps, candles, and incense, with colorful paintings on the walls. The window frames and wooden beams are often elaborately painted, too. Many homes have portraits of the former King and Queen of Lo on the wall, along with Tibetan Buddhist leaders like the Dalai Lama and the 41st and 42nd Sakya Trizin. There may be a gas heater in the dining room to keep you warm, but not always.You may also be served dinner/breakfast in the family kitchen, especially if you’re the only guest(s). This is always the warmest room in the house, and it’s an interesting cultural experience.
You will have shared bathroom facilities, although some guesthouses have rooms with attached bathrooms. Shared bathrooms are usually inside the home, on the same floor as the guest rooms. Some have a western style flushing toilet, others a squat toilet. They usually have a sink just outside the toilet door for washing your hands, cleaning your teeth, etc. It’s best to have your own toilet paper, and soap isn’t always provided so make sure you have hand sanitizer too. Generally speaking, used toilet paper goes in a bin next to the toilet. If it’s a squat toilet, flush it by scooping water out of the nearby bucket with whatever receptacle is provided.
Showers, if available, are often in a separate room to the shared toilet. If you have an attached bathroom it will likely have a shower head, too. In either case, the shower head may or may not actually attach to the wall. Your chances of a hot shower depend on whether the guesthouse has gas or solar heating. Gas showers are more reliably hot, but a bit of a luxury. Solar heated showers are more common, but to get hot water you need to time it just right in the late morning/early afternoon, and of course it needs to be a sunny day. Sometimes you have to pay for a hot shower, usually around 200 to 500 rupees.
Food on Upper Mustang Trek
For breakfast, you will get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6 pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadoms. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.
Dal Bhat is the classic trekking dish. A combination of dal (lentils), veg curry, pickle, papad, rice, and vegetables, this staple of the Nepali diet is a great option. It comes with a guaranteed refill of rice and curry, and usually some extra dal too.The meals-Dalbhat will give you all the energy you need.
Breakfast consists of porridge, pancakes, omelettes, boiled/fried eggs, and various breads (fried Tibetan bread, buckwheat bread, chapatis, and so on). Often you can get them with jam, honey, or apples. You can order these dishes any time of day, and it’s common to place your breakfast order the night before.
Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner consists of soups, pasta dishes, various fried rice dishes, momos, a kind of dumpling, pizzas, and of course, Dal Bhat. Some dishes have meat options but this is something to be wary of. Lots of dishes have egg and some tuna from a can.
Hot drinks consists of regular black tea and coffee to masala tea, lemon ginger honey tea and hot chocolate, bottle of water, beer, whisky for an extra cost.
Upper Mustang Trek cost
Mustang Trek package cost ranges from $1890 USD to $3500 USD and includes all transfers, accommodation, meals and permits. You could order any meal off the menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and at breakfast you will get one hot beverage (tea or coffee). If you want additional snacks or drinks, like a bowl of soup or a tea or coffee at lunch and dinner, you have to pay for it yourselves.
Internet connectivity is not great in Upper Mustang, and electricity isn’t exactly free flowing either.WiFi is not widely available in guesthouses in Upper Mustang. When it is, it’s usually via an expensive satellite connection which doesn’t always work that well. From memory it is about 1000 NPR for 24 hours.
4G sim cards and packages can be bought at the airport, or from numerous vendors in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Data connection works very well in the city but as soon as you leave the coverage is patchy and drops to 2G/3G. Nepal Telecom (NTC) is your best bet for data connection in Upper Mustang, but it’s safe to say it will be limited and slow.
Electricity is available almost all the area of Upper Mustang Trek by Solar and Water Power. You can charge your device almost across the Mustang Trek. Some Tea house charges for an extra cost.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1300 m)
Receive at Kathmandu airport by us and drive to hotel on arrival to Nepal. Spend free day in the afternoon, walk around bustling market of Kathmandu.
Day 2: In Kathmandu
Mustang trekking permit preparation and preparation for trekking and walk around in Kathmandu. Explore temples and palaces of Kathmandu.
Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara (850 m)
Drive or fly to Pokhara. By drive it takes 6 hours drive and by flight it is 40 minutes flight. Both are scenic. We provide transfer as per our clients request and requirement. Walk on lakeside Pokhara in the afternoon, and boating on Phewa Lake. It is beautiful and nice.
Day 4: Pokhara to Kagbeni (2810 m)
Get morning flight to Jomsom (2720 m), 35 minutes scenic mountain flight goes between 2 high mountains Annapurna(8090m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m).Start trek from Jomsom, the headquater of Mustang and continue trekking for 4 hours along the bank of Kaligandaki river. Kagbeni is the entry point of Mustang trekking and explore Kagbeni, its dzong and monastery in the afternoon. O/N at guest house in Kagbeni.
Day 5: Trek to Samar (3660 m, 6/7 hours)
Trek for 6/7 hours to Samar following the Kaligandaki river.Today trekking through the impresive vilages -Tangbe(3060m), Chhusang(2980m) and Chele (3050m) with fantastic landscapes.The first part of the trek is on flat and gradually and the last part of the trekking from the base of Chele village, it goes uphill to Samar village. O/N at guest house.
Day 6: Trek to Geling (3570 m, 5/6 hours)
Breakfast at Samar and continue trek to Geling. Trek is mostly uphill to Syangboche village(3800m) and then trek downhill to Geling village. There are two monastries of 15th century in Geling is worth visiting.
Day 7: Trek to Tsarang (3560 m, 6/7 hours)
Trek steep uphil to Geula pass (4025 m) for 2 hours and then downhill trek to Gherm(3520 m) for an hour. Lunch there and continue uphill trek upto Tsarang la (3870m) and then downhill trek to Tsarang. It is about 3/4 hours trek to Tsarang.
Day 8: Trek to Lo-Manthang (3809 m, 4 hours trek)
Trek 4 hours to Lo-Manthang, the final destination of Mustang trekking. The trek goes gradually up to Lo la pass (3950 m) offers nice view of Lo-Manthang valley and northern Mustang. From top we then trek downhill to Lo-Manthang, the ancient walled city of 14th century. It is the capital of Mustang, there is still the king and palace in existence.
Day 9: Explore Lo- Manthang.
Explore Palace of Mustang and surrounding Gompas of Lo -Manthang. There are four old major Gompas -Jampa Gompa, Thubchen Gompa,Chode Gompa and Choprang Gompa, built in 15th century.
Day 10: In Lo-Manthang
Explore nearby villages and caves of Lo-Manthang surrounding like Choser caves and Gharphu Gompa riding on horse. It is about 5/6 hours exploration day.
Day 11: Trek back to Ghermi (3520 m, 6/7 hours walk)
Trek back to Ghermi, on the same trekking trail we trekked up. It is mostly downhill trek for 6/7 hours.
Day 12: Trek to Samar (3660 m, 6/7 hours trek)
Trek down to Samar for 6/7 hours. The trekking is mostly downhill trek.
Day 13: Trek to Kagbeni (5/6 hours trek)
Easy trekking day for 5/6 hour, it is downhill trek to Chhusang for 2 hours and then easy flat trail trek to Kagbeni.
Day 14: Trek to Muktinath (3800m, 5/6 hours)
5/6 hours uphill trekking via Dzong and it is nice trekking to Muktinath on nice landscapes. Visit Muktinath temple and natural gas flaming goddess-Jwalamai in the afternoon.
Day 15: Trek to Jomsom
Trek down to Jomsom for 5/6 hour via Jharkot. Walk around Jomsom in the afternoon.
Day 16: Jomsom to Pokahra
Fly back to Pokhara in the morning and walk around Pokhara in the afternoon.
Day 17: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Fly or drive back to Kathmandu. Spend free day in the afternoon and join at our farewell dinner at typical Nepali restaurant with culture dance.
Day 18: Kathmandu airport
Final transfers to Kathmandu airport to get fly back to home.
Best Seasons Trekking Mustang
Upper Mustang does not experience a summer monsoon, extending the trekking season from March to November. Winter (December – February) can be harsh and is not recommended for trekking as many lodges close and locals migrate south for the season.
Autumn (September – November) usually has clear skies, colorful trees, and wonderful views all the way south to the snowy peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Autumn brings clear blue skies and mild temperatures before the cold sets in in December.The weather is generally dry and clear, with warm sunny days and excellent visibility. Autumn is slightly like winter. Colder than Summer, although you won’t find patches of snow.Nights in Autumn get chilly. In October the temperature dips to 0° C.During the day, you will experience temperatures around 15° C. But any rain or slight drizzle brings down the temperature by a few degrees. So keep a jacket handy with you always.Temperature day time between 15 °C and 18 °C and night time will drop to temperatures between 5 °C and -15 °C.
Spring and Summer-Trekking
In Spring (March – May) wildflowers grow, adding color to the dry and dusty landscape. Summer (June – August) is even more colorful with lush green fields surrounding villages, but there is a higher chance of cloud coverage. Transport in Lower Mustang is likely to be disrupted due to the monsoon. In Spring, although you will find patches of hard snow at higher altitudes, the temperature during the day will be slightly warmer than that in Autumn, when there won’t be any snow on the trek. In Spring, expect pleasant daytime temperatures around 20 °C. But at night it dips to almost zero levels.During the day if the sun goes behind the clouds and there is about of rain, then the temperature can fall to around 15 °C.Temperature day time: between 20 °C and 24 °C and night time will drop to temperatures between 10 °C and -15 °c.
Upper Mustang Festivals
There are two main festivals that take place in Upper Mustang.
Tiji Festival, held over 3 days in mid-May. Monks from Chode Monastery perform ritual masked dances and chants in colorful costumes, recreating the legend of Dorje Sonnu defeating demons to save the land from drought. The lead monk prepares for his role in isolation for three months at Chode Monastery. The festival takes place in the square within the walled city of Lo Manthang and people come from all over Mustang to attend. A huge ancient Thangka of Guru Rinpoche is hung from one of the buildings, the only time of year that it is on display.
The Yartung horse festival that takes place over 3-4 days around the August Full Moon, marking the end of summer and the completion of the harvest. There is lots of drinking and dancing, plus archery and football competitions, horse races, and religious processions. It is celebrated across Mustang, most notably in Lo Manthang and Muktinath.
Solo Trekking in the restricted area is completely forbidden. You will have to trek in a group.A lot of people trek solo in Nepal and have thoroughly enjoyed. Trekking solo has its own benefits. You will not have to adjust your schedule according to anyone. You can also follow your own route as you wish to. Also, finding your way, especially in the non-restricted regions, is very easy. The routes are well marked and pretty straight.Nepal is completely safe for solo trekkers. But you will also have to be a little more careful while travelling alone.
Insurance for Upper Mustang Trek
Travel insurance is highly recommended for Mustang Trek because the high altitude can lead to many illnesses, weakness in trekkers, and misjudgments. There is also a risk on trails for falls, avalanches and other mishaps. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Mustang Trek Packing List
This is the mandatory kit list for the safety of everyone in the group and to ensure a successful trek. You must have the following items tailored for the Dolpo trek. The guide will check your gear in Kathmandu before departure for the trek. Each porter will be carrying for 2 people’s belongings which they carry from a strap on their head), so be mindful and considerate as you pack. Also, bear in mind that it’s very common to leave excess baggage at hotels and guesthouses in Kathmandu. The weight limit for your duffel bag/big rucksack/backpack is 15 kg. The weight limit of your day rucksack or backpack is 5 kg.
Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar)
Soft Shell Trousers.
Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton).
Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece / synthetic top.
Thermals or base layer for top and bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
Fleece or synthetic leggings.
Medium weight down jacket.
Heads and Gloves
Warms mittens and/or gloves.
Wool or fleece hat.
Bandana or scarf.
Head torch. Bring extra batteries.
For Crossing the passes
A pair of Gaiters.
Sleeping bag. Overnight lows down to -15 Celsius.
Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag.
Two water bottles
Sunscreen and Lip balm with a high SPF.
Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Aqua or Aqua Mira).
Favorite snack food.
Books and cards etc.
Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
Baby wipes (optional).
Duffel bag/Big rucksack/backpack
Toiletry bag with soap, travel towel, toothbrush etc.
Personal first aid kit
Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
Re-hydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
Diamox (helps with acclimatization).
Flight info(required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
Insurance certificate(required) (With photocopies)
Passport (required) (With photocopies)
Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
Cash, credit and debit cards
Watch and alarm clock
Waterproof backpack cove
Health and Safety:
Face masks (required)
Hand sanitizer (required)
Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
Drinking plenty of water is a must.Please drink at least three liters of water while trekking each day.Bottled water and hot water is available to buy throughout the trek. You have to purchase your water throughout the trek. It is typically around 100 to 200 rupees. That’s why packing a Steripen is a fantastic idea — you can fill up at the taps, and you won’t have to buy any water or waste unnecessary plastic!
Mustang Guided Trek
Guided trek is the best option if you want a stress-free hiking holiday. The guide manages all of the logistics, distances, directions, and tea houses. The directions are not always very clear like on the Everest Base Camp trek and having the guide manages all of the logistics. You must trek to Upper Mustang with guide because trek is not possible independently in Upper Mustang.
Guide and Porter
Upper Mustang trekking guides cost between $30 – $50 per day, depending on their experience.A porter costs around $20 – $25 per day and this cost can usually be shared between two people, based on 10 – 15 kg per person.
You’ll need cash to pay for extra food and beverages, water, and showers along the way. On the trail, everything is payable in cash in the local currency, Nepalese Rupees (NPR) We suggest to bring 25,000 rupees (around $250 USD) with you for the trek.Also beware that ATM have max withdrawal amounts, and your bank may have a max daily withdrawal limit, so you may not be able to withdraw the total amount that you need all in one day. Plan ahead.There are ATM in Jomsom, but it’s best to withdraw your cash in Kathmandu/Pokhara instead of relying on a local ATM.
Tourist visas are available on arrival at Kathmandu-Tribhuvan International Airport and at all land border crossings that are open to foreign travellers. While this is available for most foreigners, citizens of some countries are required to get a visa prior to arrival, while those from SAARC countries can get their visa free of charge.There are three different visa options and prices: Multiple Entry 15 Days – 30 USD, 30 Days – 50 USD and 90 Days – 125 USD. In order to get a visa on arrival you’ll need four things:
One passport size photo
A passport valid for at least six months
At least one blank page in your passport
The visa fee in cash (US Dollars is best)
We recommend tipping for guide: $10-$20 USD per day per person and porter: $10-$15 USD per day per person. If you want to give more you can it depends on their services to you.There is no limit tipping guide and porter.
As a general rule, your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the passport details you provide are accurate. Any errors provided may result in extra fees for making corrections in bookings. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends.
Travelers to altitudes higher than 2,500 m are at risk of altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). This can be life-threatening and affect anyone, even people who are very physically fit. There is a higher risk for those who have had altitude sickness before, who exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the altitude, or who have health problems that affect breathing. If your tour travels to high altitude, see your doctor for advice specific to you and your situation before you depart. It is important to be aware of the normal altitude symptoms that you may encounter BUT NOT worry about:
1.Periods of sleeplessness
2.Occasional loss of appetite
3.Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude
4.Unexpected momentary shortness of breath, day and night
5.Periodic breathing that wakes you occasionally
If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy, or experience other symptoms, please be sure to let your guide know immediately so that we can monitor your condition. Please be aware that should your guide deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, they will arrange for you to descend to a lower altitude.
Medical Facilities and Treatment:
Medical facilities in Nepal are very limited, particularly outside Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, treatment at international-standard clinics is expensive and up-front payment for services is generally required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment, including evacuation by helicopter.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.